Valley Students' 'Sea-Monkey' Experiment to Launch into Space, Hatch

2 years 9 months 6 hours ago Thursday, January 25 2018 Jan 25, 2018 January 25, 2018 6:14 AM January 25, 2018 in News

PHARR – One group of students from Pharr are getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch their experiment into space.

The three PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School 11th grade students’ synthetic brine shrimp will be hatching at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s International Space Station.

“We are currently doing the procedure for the experiment that we created to launch at NASA,” says Rodolfo Cantu, one of the students. “We’re going to put synthetic brine shrimp eggs into a tube and hatch them up there in space.”

The shrimp, also known as Sea-Monkeys, is a type of novelty aquarium pets.

“We’re going to put these little eggs. They’re like fish eggs,” says Rodolfo Cantu.

“We thought of the Sea-Monkeys when we were at IDEA generation. It was one of the things we had pop up and we thought it would best fit up in space,” explains Jacob Fuentes.

They’ll put them up in space, let them hatch and see what happens.

“The three students came up with the experiment by themselves and they did the research,” says Andrew Martinez, the team’s engineering teacher at PSJA. “And it’s a big accomplishment for them as juniors and being one of the only schools to have this opportunity.”

As an extra bonus, the three young students and their sponsors will be going to Florida to watch the shuttle take off with their experiment on board.

“It feels amazing to have the opportunity. We’re going to see a rocket launch. That’s something that not many kids our age can see,” says Quinones.

The NASA program seeks to encourage the next generation of scientist and engineers. A point not lost on the grandparents who visited their grandchildren that day.

“Of course, I’m proud of all my grandkids, but especially him [who’s] accomplished so much and the things that he’s done,” Joe Suarez, Jacob’s grandfather said.

“I can’t believe it. He was a little boy and now he’s a young man and doing what he’s accomplished,” says Suarez’s wife, Marta.

“I’m also extremely proud of him. He had done wonders,” says Irene Fuentes, Jacob’s other grandmother.

Jacob is sure of what he wants to become.

“I hope to be a mechanical engineer,” he says.  

We asked Fuentes if the project changed his mind about his career choice.

“Not really, but it inspired me a little more to pursue it,” he says.

“Now that I’m working close to micro-gravity and this, I want to be an engineer but now I’m thinking I want to be an aerospace engineer,” says Quinones.

Next time, when you see a space shuttle fly overhead remember these three young men. 

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